Plant a Rock Garden

After years of collecting the rocks from garden beds and casting them in a corner of the yard, you now have a rather impressive stockpile of stones in assorted colors, shapes and sizes. You've probably tried to give them away, but no one seems the least bit interested. Faced with a growing collection of rocks, build a rock garden.

Rock gardens are usually thought of as dry, hard, cactus-filled areas. But rock gardens can also be damp, and in shade or full sun or somewhere in between. The key to success is to consider summertime sun exposure and to work with the rocks to bring out their inherent beauty.

Building a rock garden on a natural slope is the easiest approach, but you can create a slope with garden soil and then begin building. Set the rocks in the lowest, front part of the garden first and work upward. Shovel enough soil around each rock to anchor it firmly and provide growing room for plant roots. You may need to bury half or more of each rock to anchor them securely. After the rocks are in place, let the soil settle around them for a few days, then take a look from a distance to be sure you like the layout before adding plants.

As with any landscape design, plan ahead and try to incorporate a variety of plants with attractive foliage textures. Include those with different flowering seasons and you’ll create interest in your rock garden all year round.